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RE: S4 timing belt change-share my experience

I'm afraid I don't have any S4 experiences to share (I wish) but I recently
took my 1988 Audi 90 in for the same service.  The shop is an authorized
factory VW/Audi shop, but this was their first Audi 90 service of this kind
(I live in a pretty rural and Audi sparse part of the country).

They based their estimate on other Audi's but ultimately spent over double
the time they anticipated.  This particular shop allowed me to hang about
and observe the work while they did it.  Very nice folks who seemed to enjoy
"talking shop".  On my 90, they had to remove the secondary radiator, the
grille, the hood latch and adjoining nose clip frame, and to make access
easier, they removed the lower "grille" between the fog lights rather than
remove the bumper. The mechanic STILL had fairly limited access to the front
belts and such, but managed to knock out the job in about 5 hours.  They
billed 4 hours.  After watching the mechanic do the work, I was happy to pay
it - it's an ugly job.  In the inline 5 cyl. 90, there is very little
clearance between the nose and the front of the engine (hence the primary
radiator is placed to the right of the engine).  The trend toward low,
aerodynamic and aesthetically clean vehicle hoodlines have resulted in some
tight engineering.  The price you pay for style.

Dan Sinclair
1988 Audi 90

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net
[mailto:owner-quattro@coimbra.ans.net]On Behalf Of Scott Bermes
Sent: Monday, January 25, 1999 8:13 PM
To: quattro@coimbra.ans.net
Subject: S4 timing belt change-share my experience

Just wanted to share my experience with my first, and local dealers,
first experience with this timing belt change. Acutally had planned on
taking to a good local independent shop, Autobahn Performance, but
logistic (i.e., availability of a free dealer loan car for two days
combined with my work schedule) forced me to use the dealer one mile
from the house.. The service manager is really nice and gave me
discounts on the part I didn't buy from Carlson (v-belt) and labor
discount based on the description below. This service manager knows
about this list and the prices Carlson & Clair offer.

They quoted me a four hour job to change the timing and v-belt. Since I
had the water pump, this went into unchartered waters. None of the
mechanics had done the complete job on an S4 before.  The independent
shop had told me it was longer than 4 hours so I knew the dealer was
going to be eating some labor time, or I'll get that call at work. For
those of you not familiar, they need to take the front bumper and
radiator off to get to the area to change the water pump, that means
extra charges like  $30 for replacing coolant.. Changing the belts is
actually a four hour job, add the pump and your talking more time.  As
it turns out, they charged me for six hours, but was told it took the
mechanic eight hours.

Appreciate any others who had experience with a shop doing this job.